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JohnT

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So, this weekend being slow with not much planned, the wife and I made an impromptu road trip up to The finger lakes. Along the way we picked up a friend of mine and then made arrangements to stay with still more friends that live about 15 minutes from Seneca Lake. Amazing how things just fall into place from out of nowhere!

What a blast. We arrived up there at around 11am and (after the usual meet and greets) headed out to lunch at the Ithaca Beer Company. I tried a sampler and settled on their "Hop-toberfest". It was one of the best beers I ever had.

After lunch, it was time to head out to some wineries. We ended hitting up three of them.

When it comes to the tasting experience, it is a very rare occasion when a server is truly knowledgeable about wine. I always dissect what I am tasting and often have questions. Even though I see these questions as not too technical, I can more than forgive a pourer for not knowing the answer. Since most servers are not winemakers and only know what they have been told, it is most understandable. What I cannot forgive is when I am lied to or when I am on the receiving end of a pourer's bad day.

So, the first winery we hit (I will not give the name) was beautiful, scenic, and had a very nice tasting room. Our pourer, unfortunately, was just plain nasty! She had this attitude as if she was doing US a favor by taking our money to taste their wine. She was off-putting to the point of being rude and not even a bit engaging even though we were one of only two small groups in the place. She obviously was having a very bad day well before we showed up. Thankfully, her manager came up and politely asked her to take a break. Things got much better after that and we enjoyed tasting some really nice wines.

The second winery I will name.. It was the Hector Wine Company. This one was fantastic. The wines were superb and varied and the server was both knowledgeable and engaging. We ended up staying there for a while after the tasting, sipping through a bottle of their Essence (a blend of Cab Sav, Merlot, and Cab Franc). This was IMHO one of the finest wines I have had in quite some time. All around it was an awesome experience.

The third winery we visited was by far the worst! Every wine I tasted was WAY too acidic and one of the wines (the oldest) was oxidized to the point of being undrinkable. I can forgive a heavy hand on acid, but not oxidation! I asked our server (I am guessing a 19 year old student that pours tastings part time) if, perhaps, she had opened a bad bottle. "Oh no sir, every bottle is just as the winemaker has intended".

Inside, my brain is saying WHAT????? What winemaker wants oxidation????

So, I tried again. "Miss, I really think you need to taste this. It is obviously oxidized. I wouldn't want you to pour a bad bottle out to people". She then took a sip and said "this is how every bottle tastes. Everyone thinks this wine is great. In fact, this one sold out last week".

Inside, my brain is saying WHAT?? If it is sold out then how can you be selling it here???.

Here is what I think happened. The winemaker most likely let his earlier wine get too high of a PH, had it go off, then began overcompensating by maintaining much lower PH levels. This explains why every later wine was so tart.

Over all, the day was rather surprising. The last time I visited Seneca lake, most wineries really carried only a late harvest Riesling or a Pinot Noir. Things have truly changed! The variety of wines has greatly expanded and changed to the point where I did not see any offered for tastings. I did make purchases in 2 of the 3 wineries we hit.

Here are some Pictures.....

View from the deck off the tasting room at Hector.
IMG_20171104_162903759_HDR.jpg


Finally, a friendly and knowledgeable pourer!!!
IMG_20171104_161516878b.jpg
 

sour_grapes

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I went to Hector winery a year or two ago, and it was very enjoyable. I loved that jigsaw-puzzle bar, visible in your 2nd picture!
 

JohnT

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Very nice shirt!
 

bkisel

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Let's post some more pix of Hector's!....
Very pretty area. Been up there several times since moving to Wellsboro, Pa. About a 50 minutes or so (depending on traffic) drive from home to Watkins Glen at the southern tip of Seneca Lake.

Did you happen to stop at the Fulkerson Winery? That's a winery where you can get juice buckets in the fall and wine making supplies/equipment all year long. I'm actually clueless as to the wine tasting in the region as somehow or other I've always wound up as the DD.... Go figure! :ft
 

JohnT

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I think @JohnT is fondly remembering his lovely Welch’s Grape Juice shirt.......

Hey, not cut that out! It is all fun and games until someone connects me to Welch's! :)

Actually, my response was supposed to be "Very Nice S.G." (as in sour grapes). Damn spellchecker!
 

sour_grapes

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Spellcheckers certainly cause more problems than they fix. If someone misspells a word, the reader can generally figure out what was meant. However, if the misspelled word is changed to a different, correctly spelled word, the reader often cannot figure out what was meant. So, a device that was meant to reduce confusion instead increases it.

Turn 'em off, I say! (I did years ago.)
 

cmason1957

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For me it isn't the spell checkers, it is using a mobile app and they just put in the wrong word from what I intended to swipe my finger over and you can't see the entire text of what you are sending, until you hit send. Arg. I should always use a keyboard, I type faster on them anyway.
 

sour_grapes

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John, (@JohnT ) I sent you a "conversation" (née "Private Message") with a question about this a few weeks ago. However, the PM function is not as "in your face" as it used to be, so I suspect you missed it. If you don't mind, would you please check your "conversations" (the envelope icon in the uppper right)?

Thanks!
 

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